Rock colours, patterns, and textures in the cliff at South Beach, Studland Bay in Dorset, UK. These close-up photographs show details of the natural abstract designs to be found in the rock formerly known as the Redend Sandstone which was part of the Poole Formation and was laid down by river action in the Eocene Period. [Recent geological research has resulted in a re-naming of the rocks in this area so that the Redend Sandstone is now said to be part of the Broadstone Sand Member].
The colours in the sandstone are due to the presence of iron oxides. Different forms of these compounds result in different colours with yellow and brown being fairly typical of limonite and geothite, while the reds are more likely to be hematite. I have noticed in the patterns of rusting iron pier structures and flotsam buoys corroded by saltwater that a great variety of colours, including purple, are commonly found in the decomposition products of iron.
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